UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis
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Glossary

Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

pillar
1. Remnant of bedrock joining the cave floor and ceiling. Not to be confused with a column, which is a calcite deposit. Pillars are common in phreatic caves, formed by complexly looping ground-water flow, but may also be left as small oxbow cores of vadose origin. A spectacular group of pillars occurs in the ill-named Chamber of Columns in the Sof Omar cave, Ethiopia [9]. 2. A column of rock remaining after solution of the surrounding rock. 3. A stalactite-- stalagmite that reaches from roof to floor in a cave; more properly termed a column. 4. A tall thin stalagmite that does not reach the roof of a cave [10]. See column; rock pillar.